Fine food, fabulous interiors and plenty of wild geese and all just 30 minutes of London
On one of the few hot days this year, I lay out in the vast expanse of lawn that makes up Stoke Place’s garden and watched, with amusement, as a parade of geese and men in kilts made their way across the front of the hotel.
One group were on their way to a wedding, the other around to the lake, designed, no less, by Capability Brown back in the day when lolling around on the grass in denim cut-offs and a T-shirt probably wasn’t an activity encouraged in young ladies.
Despite the crowds (of both varieties), this is one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever had the luck to stay. The wedding party might have numbered 140, but we didn’t hear a peep from them (wedding groups here have their own bar, restaurant and even courtyard), and even the geese kept their quacking to a minimum.
It isn’t the silence that draws people here, however, it’s the food. With one of Heston Blumenthal’s old colleagues at the helm and a beautifully designed new interior, Stoke Place’s Vyce Room is a foodie destination in its own right.
Mind you, after supper, you won’t be disappointed by the rooms. The design which makes the Vyce Room so special is reflected throughout the hotel, from the little nooks and studies up to the gorgeous suites and attic rooms.
Wallpaper and comfy armchairs aside, little touches, like the bottles of old-fashioned lemonade on the tea tray, give it a countryside charm, while big touches, like the massive plasma TVs, ensure city slickers have all the mod-cons they need when the weather isn’t quite so perfect.
Stoked? I certainly was.
Where? Stoke Place, Stoke Green, Stoke Poges, Bucks SL2 4HT (01753 534790, www.stokeplace.co.uk)